Del Fiacco, Marina and Quartu, Marina and Boi, Marianna and Serra, Maria Pina and Melis, Tiziana and Boccaletti, Riccardo and Shevel, Elliot and Cianchetti, Carlo (2015) TRPV1, CGRP and SP in scalp arteries of patients suffering from chronic migraine. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Vol. 86 , p. 393-397. eISSN 1468-330X. Article.
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Objective: The transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 receptor (TRPV1) and the neuropeptides calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P (SP) appear to be differently involved in migraine pain. A role of neurovascular scalp structures is also suggested by several data. We performed a quantitative study of TRPV1-like immunoreactive (LI), CGRP-LI and SP-LI innervation of scalp arterial samples from patients affected with chronic migraine (CM).
Methods: Short segments of scalp arteries were collected from 17 participants undergoing vascular surgery for treatment-resistant CM and from 6 controls who underwent neurosurgery for various indications. The immunoreactivity of the arterial innervation to TRPV1, CGRP, SP and to the pan-neuronal marker protein gene product 9.5 (PGP9.5) was examined. Immunoreactive nerve fibres in vessel cross-sections were quantified by computerised image analysis.
Results: A significant increase of TRPV1-LI nerve fibres was found in the arterial wall from CM compared with control patients (p<0.05), while no significant difference was found for CGRP and SP.
Conclusions This study yields the first evidence for the existence of a TRPV1-LI innervation in human scalp arteries and provides the first quantitative assessment of the TRPV1-LI, CGRP-LI and SP-LI innervation of those vessels. The increase of TRPV1-LI periarterial nociceptive fibres of scalp arteries may represent, at least in some participants, a structural condition favouring CM (and possibly migraine), for example, by causing a higher sensitivity to algogenic agents.
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